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New Skin-Based Generator Device Converts Muscle Movements into Enough Power for Small Electronics

by Dr. Trupti Shirole on  February 1, 2015 at 12:36 PM Medical Gadgets   - G J E 4
A new flexible postage-stamp-sized generator device that converts muscle movements into enough power for small electronics, using human skin as one of its charge-collectors has been developed by researchers at the National University of Singapore. This device takes advantage of static electricity to convert mechanical energy into electrical energy.
 New Skin-Based Generator Device Converts Muscle Movements into Enough Power for Small Electronics
New Skin-Based Generator Device Converts Muscle Movements into Enough Power for Small Electronics
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Researchers demonstrated that the new device, which can generate 90 volts of open circuit voltage and power of 0.8mW when touched gently with a finger, can be used as a wearable self-powered sensor to track the user's motion and activity. Such friction-powered generators could usher new types of wearable sensors that do not require batteries but instead are powered by the wearer's daily activities like walking, talking or holding an object.

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This friction-inducing phenomenon is called the triboelectric effect, and electrical charge builds up on two dissimilar surfaces when they are put in close contact. A potential difference is generated and a current starts flowing between when they are pulled apart or flexed. This current can be collected using an electrode.

Researcher Lokesh Dhakar said, "Skin, the most abundant surface on a human body, is a natural choice for one of the triboelectric layers and also skin as a triboelectric material has a high tendency to donate electrons or get positively charged which is important in improving the performance of the device if the other triboelectric layer intentionally chosen as the one with a tendency to get negatively charged." The device could light up twelve commercial LEDs.

Source: Medindia
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